Fast and Fit! 10 Minute Exercise Programs That You Can Do Anywhere

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When it comes to exercise, most Americans come up short. Lack of time is probably our most overused excuse, and instead of looking at all the options for getting our “sweat on,” some folks give up on exercise altogether.

But research shows that improved health and a reduction in the risk of chronic disease can be achieved in as few as three ten-minute bouts of exercise per day. Ideally, we should be aiming for 150 minutes of total exercise per week, but when we’re short on time, a condensed workout is still beneficial and will do wonders for our body and mind.

The Suitcase Workout
Business travel, vacations and weekend trips can be a great time to exercise, not to mention an easy way to keep weight in check while we’re away from our normal routine. If hotel gyms bore you, then why not use the perfect muscle builder stowed neatly in your trunk or overhead bin?
Try This: Stand with your feet just wider than hip width apart and hold your suitcase or bag to your chest. Push your hips back and lower your body into squat. Stand up and move the suitcase to your right side, wrapping your right arm around it in a “headlock.” Complete another squat and return to the bear-hug position. Repeat again, this time switching the suitcase to your left side and using your left arm as a headlock. Continue alternating for ten minutes.

10 Minute HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training is a way to exercise that alternates periods of short, very intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods. It works because it is fast, efficient, boosts metabolism and fits well into a ten-minute workout. Just make sure you are doing the exercises properly and don’t overdo it. Listen to your body.
Try This: Do 40 seconds of a strenuous exercise, such as jumping jacks. Rest for 20 seconds. Repeat this four more times. Choose another exercise, such as sit-ups and perform the same scenario. That’s ten minutes of HIIT! Choose exercises that you can perform but that still challenge you for best results.

Walk This Way!
Whether you’re taking a power walk at work or taking the kids out in a stroller, use intervals to pack a punch in your sneakers. For one minute, walk at a fairly easy pace. The next minute, walk (or jog) as fast and hard as you can. Recover at an easy-paced minute. Repeat this pattern for a total of ten minutes; it’s a more effective way to train (and burn calories) than exercising at one intensity level.

Core in a Crunch
Use 10 minutes to sculpt your midsection. This one is easy. Complete one exercise every 60 seconds to strengthen your abs.
Try These: Regular crunches, bicycles, elbow planks, low-arm planks, leg lowers, pushups, crunch pulses, oblique or side-to-side crunches. Time goes by belly-ripping fast. Use the internet to find core exercises right for you.

Ten Quick Tips to Taking 10!
1. Jump Rope! On average, jumping rope burns about 11 calories per minute. If you crank up the intensity of your jumps, you can burn in the neighborhood of 20 calories per minute.
2. Use resistance bands. They are small, lightweight and can be used just about anywhere for strength training, using your own body as resistance. Plus, you can pack them in a purse or bag.
3. Pack your running shoes in your bag or car. While waiting for the kids at soccer practice, get your calorie burning on with ten minutes of intervals!
4. Grab a buddy. Partnering up with a friend or loved one will help you work out longer than you imagined!
5. Explore your surroundings. Hike, bike or find a trail to follow at your latest location. Ask the locals or the concierge for challenging suggestions.
6. Keep some hand-held weights handy. Strap them on for extra intensity while you are cleaning the house.
7. Use your WiFi and search results for mini-workout routines online. All types of short exercise videos will appear. Pick your favorites and get to it!
8. App it out! Download a few apps with ten-minute bursts of exercise. It’s like having your own personal trainer.
9. Drop and do a downward dog. Ten minutes of yoga will have you stretching, strengthening and relaxing.
10. Send the kids out for ice cream and get under the covers with your honey. Depending on how “energetic” you are, making love can burn up to 75 calories every 10 minutes.

When it comes down to it, there is no excuse for lack of exercise. If you try, really try, you can fit a workout into your schedule no matter where you are or how busy your day becomes. Start building bouts of ten-minute exercises into your daily routine and begin feeling better right away. HLM